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International Pet Travel Tips: Your Guide to Taking Pets Abroad

Essential information about shots, certificates, gear, pet-friendly airlines, planning, costs, & more international pet travel tips for taking pets abroad!

We know that many countries have their own rules and regulations when it comes to taking pets abroad into a new country. When you decide that you do want to take your pet on your overseas trip, the first thing you should do is research, contact the country you plan to go to and get educated about what you need to do regarding international pet travel. In this article, we are going to explore what tasks must be done before you leave so you and your pet can have the vacation of a lifetime overseas!

This is a guest post by Rebecca Crawford of Hiking Mastery.

Everything you need to know for international pet travel and taking pets abroad!

Photo Credit: Marco Zanferrari

Shots and Certificates for Taking Pets Abroad

Before you embark on your international pet travel, you will need to make a visit to your vet for all of the proper shots and health certificates that you need for taking pets abroad. Different animals may have different requirements for international pet travel, but for traveling with dogs and cats, you will need to have their health certificates, rabies vaccination certification, and certificate of acclimation (if applicable). The health certificate should be made within 30 days of your departure. There are some international pet travel health facts you should know when traveling with dogs.  In some countries, the dog may not travel if they are pregnant or of a certain breed. For example, if you go to Australia, they will not allow pit bulls and certain animal hybrids into the country, and the dog cannot be more than 30 days pregnant.

For traveling with dogs, your dog will have to be vaccinated for rabies, especially, and many countries state that your dog must have a microchip before international pet travel. Other things your dog may have to be vaccinated against before taking pets abroad include Leptospirosis and Leishmaniosis, among others.

Before taking dogs abroad, be sure your dog does not have tapeworms or any viruses before you leave, as well. Also, don’t forget to bring along your pet’s medication for international pet travel, if they take any.

Photo Credit: Rob Marquardt


Gear You Need for International Pet Travel

If you are going backpacking overseas with your pet, not only do you need to bring all of your proper gear for yourself, but you will need gear for your pet as well. Having the best dog gear for backpacking during your international pet travel is important because it can help your dog get through the taxing travel day. Some essential international pet travel gear includes items like dog food, treats, water and more.

Having gear for your dog when taking dogs abroad is extremely helpful because you can use flotation devices and a safety harness if needed. The gear is endless, so make a list of what you know you will need and go from there. Your dog will thank you, and you will both have a better time when outdoors backpacking in another country.


Airline Policies and Carriers for Flying with Pets

All airlines have their own policies for flying with pets, so you will have to check out which are the most pet-friendly airlines for international pet travel, as this may vary over time. When taking pets abroad, there are 3 ways to get your pet to your destination via an airline for international pet travel. First off, your pet can either travel on the plane, either with your or in the cargo, which will work with pet-friendly airlines.

You can also book your pet on another flight, although most airlines do not offer dog flights using this method anymore. For the last method of airplane pet transport, you can ship your pet through a licensed commercial shipping company, which is great for taking dogs abroad that are too large to fit in the cabin. Looking for airlines that will ship pets? American Airlines Cargo has more than 50 years of experience flying with pets!

No matter which method you use for taking pets abroad, your pet must be in an airline pet carrier carrier that is labeled with the dog’s information (or other animal) and yours as well. This way, if you are separated, you can be reconnected with ease. The airline pet carrier must be big enough to allow your pet space to move about a little bit for the duration of the flight. To ease your pet during the pet transport, you may consider putting their favorite toy or blanket in the carrier to keep them calm.

Some pets are not keen on flying, so if you have to give them any medication beforehand, speak with your vet before taking pets abroad so you can know the proper medication to administer and the correct dosage. Do take caution if sedating your pet, as the American Veterinary Medical Association advises against it, as altitude pressures may cause respiratory and cardiovascular problems in your pet. If you have no choice but to sedate your pet for international pet travel, then be sure to have the medication name, amount administered, and time and date it was administered available at the time of check in.

Photo Credit: DaPuglet Pugs


Emergency Planning for Traveling with Your Pet

Anything can happen at any time. That is why it is wise to plan ahead for an emergency during your international pet travel, especially if you are going overseas. You may have to consider departing your destination sooner or ship your pet using a different method. You will want to think about what options you have in your home country and destination country so that you are covered for any unexpected event when taking pets abroad.

For example, if you go to the hospital, you should be able to board your dog and have it shipped home to someone who can pick it up. You should know of any shelters around your destination as well as animal hospitals in case your pet gets injured.

Photo Credit: Maxim Panteleyev

Cost of Traveling with Pets

The cost of taking your pet on an overseas vacation will be high, we will not kid you. The main expense for taking pets abroad is going to be shipping and airfare, as transportation is a must. Flying with pets can run you well over $1,000, so don’t be surprised at high fees for this necessary expense.

You will also need to shell out money for some gear for your dog when taking pets abroad, as well as food and fun. If you are staying in a hotel, you may have to pay more to include your dog in your room. And of course, if you do any fun activities, like going to a spa, your dog may also tag along and get treated, too!

Bear in mind that the cost of international pet travel is the reason many will not take their pets on an overseas trip, as this can be quite pricey, so be prepared to pay a lot extra for this expense. However, you and your pet will have the time of your lives, we have no doubt!

Photo Credit: DaPuglet Pugs


Taking a vacation with your pet can be a great bonding time, that you can remember always. You can have the time of your lives together, and the whole trip can go smoothly if you plan ahead, take the proper precautions, go to the vet, contact the country’s consulate or review their website, and make sure that all the rules are adhered to. Now that you know a little bit about taking pets abroad on vacation, you can start planning your next adventure right now! Just remember to plan well ahead and be sure to make a list of your needed items so you have all you need as far as documents for your pet to fly. Now it’s time to decide on a destination! Let’s go!


A B O U T  T H E  A U T H O R

Rebecca Crawford

Rebecca lives in USA, but loves hiking all over the world. Her favorite hike is Everest Base Camp Trek in Nepal. This trip usually takes 16 days, but she likes to slow down, enjoy mountains, the company of other adventurers and take more pictures, so it took her 28 days last time. Another passion of hers is the ocean, so all short and long hikes along the ocean shore bring a lot of joy. 

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Essential information about shots, certificates, gear, pet-friendly airlines, planning, costs, & more international pet travel tips for taking pets abroad! Essential information about shots, certificates, gear, pet-friendly airlines, planning, costs, & more international pet travel tips for taking pets abroad!
 Essential information about shots, certificates, gear, pet-friendly airlines, planning, costs, & more international pet travel tips for taking pets abroad!

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  • Reply
    Sudhir Chauhan
    October 5, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    nice detail…….

  • Reply
    Television of Nomads
    January 12, 2018 at 9:08 am

    […] International Pet Travel Tips: Your Guide to Taking Pets Abroad […]

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